Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers for a kitchen in Advent

Lord, help me remember that I WILL NOT DIE if my kitchen isn't finished before Christmas.

Dad, if you even hint at the words "I told you so," you won't be getting a Christmas present. :P

How in the world am I going to host Christmas Eve for Scott's family without even a kitchen sink?!

Lord, help me remember that Christmas will still be Christmas even if I don't have a kitchen yet...

Such have been my thoughts and prayers the last few weeks. One-track.

It felt like a small miracle when I finished prepping and priming the cabinets, and we could finally bring them out of the weather and into the house. I knew there was little chance of having the kitchen ready for Thanksgiving, but I still hoped we could move things along in time for Christmas.

Scott has worked every possible minute of the last three weekends on the cabinets, adapting, levelling, installing, matching the new to the old, even building one from scratch where we had an unexpected hole. Every bit of this kitchen project has been tedious, one person working at a time, step by tiny step.

There is no speeding the process up. There is no HGTV or DIY Network crew standing by to help get the job done in four days flat. There is no budget for hiring a team of experts. This is our DIY project, and we are doing it ourselves, however long it takes, and with the understanding that the ability to do any of it at all is a blessing.

It seems the theme of the last several posts here has been waiting. As I learned from Kimberlee Conway Ireton, wait is also the watchword for this first week of Advent. I'm thinking it's also my personal watchword of the year.

In any case, I am clinging desperately to the knowledge that this season is about CHRIST.  Not about having a pretty, decorated house. Not about baking cookies to give away. Not about being a good hostess, or making everything perfectly "Christmasy." Not about me.

I have struggled the last several months with the guilt that this kitchen remodel has taken so much of my focus, time, and energy, that I have been so unavailable to do for others. I have wondered if it will feel like a stolen blessing when it's over.

I absolutely must rest in the knowledge that this project is even more temporal than this life. That every moment is a gift, but the greatest gift is Christ. That I need only to praise Him in thankfulness -- no matter the circumstance, no matter how chaotic my life looks and feels, no matter how I fail to be like Him.

I want to infuse my veins with the Gospel, a constant reminder that He came, He died, He rose again -- His work is done, even if mine is not.

I will await His coming expectantly, doing what I can to prepare, but knowing that ultimately, His perfect timing does not, and will never, depend on me.

May our hearts and minds remain focused on the Lord this Advent as we anticipate and celebrate the holy day of Christmas. Amen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest post: Waiting on God's Timing

As the season of Advent begins, and we await the joyous celebration of our Lord's birth, I am happy to share with you this guest post by blogger and new mom Heather at

Waiting on God's Timing

I was five days past my due date. The idea of leaving the house—even just to pick up a gallon of milk—felt overwhelming. We live in a small town and everyone from our neighbors to the ladies at our community bank knew my due date. When the date came and went without fanfare, both my husband and I were inundated with calls, texts, Facebook messages:

"Where's the baby?"

"He sure is taking his sweet time!"

"You must feel so disappointed that he's still not here yet!"

I started sending my husband out for milk and bread and sequestered myself in the house. Each day, we prayed for God to send our son. Each evening, I would get ready for bed again with a heavy heart.

To be completely honest, the waiting seemed, well, unfair—we'd had a miscarriage the year before and it'd taken several months for us to get a positive pregnancy test again. Then God spoke to me about my heart—did I really feel entitled to be a mom? Did I view it as something God owed me, rather than a grace—a totally undeserved gift? 

I'm ashamed to admit that I did view it as an automatic, no-questions-asked "next chapter" in our lives: marriage, buying a house, having a baby. Over the past year, He has shown me the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." 

In case you're wondering, the waiting didn't last forever. On the evening of October 14, my water broke and—shortly after noon on October 15, 2011—our baby boy was born. Even after nine months of preparation, I was still in disbelief that the waiting was over. I was in awe of the blessing which, somehow, still felt unexpected. Seeing our baby open his eyes for the first time was a moment I'll never forget.

I do not have a son now because of my faith or because of any good works I've done. I truly believe it is a mercy of God. Undeserved, given due to nothing in me. This gift is for His own purposes. I pray for a spirit like Hannah's in the Bible (1 Samuel 1:27-28)—to recognize that this child is not mine. To remember that waiting yields fruit in God's timing. To remember that God's timing is not my timing, but that it is far better—it is perfect.

Congratulations, Heather, on the arrival of your baby boy! God is always faithful when we wait on Him! For more of Heather, please visit her blog at

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

stuck on this math problem

crunchy Christian mom
    major DIY remodel
+                  Pinterest
    very little blogging

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